LMAX Exchange, the UK-based FCA-regulated multilateral trading facility (MTF) for foreign exchange (FX) trading, has announced at Davos today that it is now listing the Ven digital currency. The move enables brokers, institutions and banks to trade the virtual currency, which hopes to rival bitcoin.
Ven is a global digital currency launched through social network Hub Culture. It currently trades against other major currencies at floating exchange rates. According to LMAX it is the first digital currency to float, and the first to include carbon in its pricing, making it the only ‘environmentally-linked’ currency in existence aimed at so-called ethical investors. The announcement was made today 23 January 2014 at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Davos gathering of global leaders in Switzerland.
According to David Mercer, chief executive officer (CEO) of LMAX Exchange, Ven won’t be the last virtual currency that the FX trading venue lists, “as we fully we intend to exploit the market potential that credible virtual currencies have to offer”. Whether linkages to the Ripple Labs network or other members of the Digital Asset Transfer Authority (DATA) will be established later on - or indeed if LMAX will join DATA - is unclear at this stage.
“Ven is already used for real goods and services,” continued Mercer, “but this is a major step forward in the development of virtual currencies, in that listing on LMAX Exchange makes it a tradable currency.”
“Virtual currencies, such as bitcoin, have been the focus of a lot of attention over the last year, but the challenge for them going forward is to become transferable. In order to become credible, virtual currencies have to be able to be used as a purchasing tool.”
Commenting on the listing, Stan Stalnaker, Hub Culture founding director, hailed LMAX as “the perfect partner to bring Ven from the Hub Culture community to the global financial marketplace. As a forward-thinking, regulated MTF for FX, it has recognised what a major opportunity this is, and identified the significance of virtual currencies in the future of FX trading.”
Stalnaker went on to emphasise Ven’s Hub Culture linked identity (HubID) authentication and security tool and how the virtual currency could potentially be used as a payment transaction tool for global financial inclusion. Perhaps, if it’s linked to the mobile channel, as M-Pesa and other African payment tools have in the past, this vision may become feasible.
Stalnaker also hailed Ven’s possible future role on global financial markets as a way to settle international transactions, as he sought to publicise the virtual currency at Davos, Switzerland. “We believe Ven will help people transact in a direct way with a single price for goods and services with every transaction,” he said. “We are delighted that LMAX Exchange is the first regulated MTF to list Ven and see this as a significant step in the growth of what we believe will be a serious financial instrument going forward.”